Pecan Pavlova Cookies with Cranberry Curd and Maple Pecans

The intimidating part about having a blog is that the longer you go without posting, the more pressure there is to put up a seriously fantastic blow-your-socks-off post. And yeah, it’s been a looooonnng time since I’ve graced this page with my presence. But I’ve got a winner today…literally. About a month ago, I got an email about a little local cookie contest, and I realized it was the perfect way to stoke the creative fire and come up with a funkelnagelneu (love this expression – translates to brand spanking new but it sounds better in German ;P) recipe that was nowhere else to be found. After a few turns of the brain cogs, I decided upon a cookie that was inspired by the Kiwi and some quintessential American holiday flavors – pecan and cranberry.
Pavlova is a crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside large disc of meringue that is generally piled high with fluffy whipped cream and adorned with fresh fruit. It hails from New Zealand (though the Aussies would have you think otherwise), and it’s a fun recipe to play with, as it’s easy to mix and match the meringue and filling as you so choose. In this one, the combo of the sweet nutty meringue and the smooth tart cranberry curd makes for an unconventional holiday cookie that is ever so New England, and also gluten-free! The judges at the cookie contest loved it, and very nicely gave me Best Overall Cookie. So, despite the fact that there are a few components involved, I’d say this cookie is well worth the effort and is guaranteed to impress!
Recipe is below, and here’s a sneak peek of the next post coming this week 🙂
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Pecan Pavlova Cookies with Cranberry Curd and Maple Pecans

makes 10 cookies

Ingredients

2 large egg whites
large pinch cinnamon
3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
2 ounces (1/2 cup) pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, then line them with parchment paper (this is so the paper sticks to the baking sheet and doesn’t fold up in funny ways leaving you with funky looking meringues).
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until they’re finely chopped (you can also do this by hand if you need a bit more of a workout ;))
  3. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, then gradually add spoonfuls of the sugar & cinnamon mixture until it has all been incorporated. Keep beating the egg whites until thick and glossy. Fold in the pecans.
  5. Scoop the egg white mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off). Pipe the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, forming discs that are about 2.5 inches in diameter and spaced a couple of inches apart. Pipe a rim around the edge of the disc to hold in the curd later on.
  6. Bake the meringues for 45 minutes, until dry and beginning to color.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the sheets before removing from the sheets onto wire racks. Let cool completely.

Cranberry Curd

Ingredients

6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup water
2 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon pieces

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries and water and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have all popped and started to become mushy (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and push the cranberries through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the cranberry skins and let the puree cool to room temperature.
  2. Once the cranberries are cool, add the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until the curd starts to thicken, coats the back of a spoon, and registers about 150°F on a candy thermometer (this should take about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove from the heat and add the butter all at once. Stir until the butter has been incorporated, and then pour through a strainer into a clean bowl. Let cool.

Maple Pecans

Ingredients

2 tsp. maple sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup (the darker, the better)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups pecan halves

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for about 10 minutes without stirring. The syrup will foam and become dark brown. If you have a candy thermometer, you want the mixture to reach 290°F.
  4. Remove from the heat immediately and quickly stir in the pecans, coating them with the syrup. Pour the hot pecans into the bowl with the spices and stir to coat the nuts evenly.
  5. Dump the nuts out onto the greased baking sheet and spread them out to cool. Once cool, break them into small pieces.
  6. You will have extra of these (more than enough to top the cookies!), so feel free to snack on a few while baking 😉

The Whole Shebang

Instructions

  1. Dollop a small teaspoonful of cranberry curd onto the middle of each pavlova cookie. Gently smooth out the curd so that it reaches the rim of the cookie and fills the middle.
  2. Sprinkle a few maple pecan pieces on top and enjoy!

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Laura B. | 10th Dec 16

    This looks delicious! And they’re GF – we are going to make them! A big hello from Stowe from Laura, Cameron and Philip! Cute pup too!

    • Sarah
      Sarah | 12th Dec 16

      Thanks, Laura!!! I’ll have to bring him up to meet you guys soon! Have fun in Stowe!

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